Antiques

Collecting and Adorning Putti’s From Nymphenburg Porcelains Studios

September 12th, 2012 by

What are Putti … Putti in art are plump male children, usually nude and winged that one often sees in Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque and Rococo art. These come to mind with the works of Franz Anton Bustelli and were most likely originally created to decorate the table in the “Stone Hall” at Schloss Nymphenburgi. The hall’s ceiling painting shows the nymph Flora surrounded by important gods as befit her standing, e.g. Mercury, Jupiter and Juno. Bustelli’s children, clothed as Ovidian gods, may be regarded as allegoric.

Franz Anton Bustelli (April 12, 1723 – April 18, 1763) was a Swiss-born German modeller for the Bavarian Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory from 1754 to his death in 1763. He is widely regarded as the finest modeller of porcelain in the Rococo style: “if the art of European porcelain finds its most perfect expression in the rococo style, so the style finds its most perfect expression in the work of Bustelli.”

 

From 1754 to today these little Putti or Cherubs, are still produced on the designs of Anton Bustelli in white or referred to as Blanc de Chine (French for “White from China”) is the traditional European term for a type of white Chinese porcelain and hand colored.

These are to be found on the secondary market … These are retailing new at the $800-1,000.00 for the uncolored works and up to $3,000.00 an up for the colored works. With patience and a level head you can acquire some beautiful works of Nymphenburg Porcelains.  These are in fact more rare than Meissen and are quite beautiful.

Works of these (both Blance de Chine & Colored works) can be seen at;

http://www.antiques.com/classified_items.php?SeArChItEmS=Nymphenburg&img.x=12&img.y=14

James Stowe

House of Stowe Galleries

 

For more information on Nymphenburg Porcelains, check out their website:

http://www.nymphenburg.com/en/nymphenburg/

Buy French Antiques and French Furniture at Brownrigg Interiors, antiques shop in Tetbury, UK

September 7th, 2012 by

“Brownrigg Interiors is one of the best antique shops outside London” according to the Tattler magazine. Brownrigg Interiors has been the subject of many press and magazine articles in Britain such as the The World of Interiors, The Times, The Telegraph, Homes and Gardens and many more.

Brownrigg Interiors and antiques shop is based at Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England with other showrooms in London and Petworth, West Sussex. At Brownrigg Interiors, they specialize in French antiques and French antique furniture and also offer a good range of other antiques from Europe. Their French antiques are sourced from all over France and England… be it cities like London, Paris, Limoges, Bristol, Rouen, Marseille, Tours and the Loire Valley region of France.

Antiques buyers in the UK are particularly keen on French antique tables of the refectory table shape. French farmhouse tables or French refectory tables of fruitwood and other woods are especially suited to the modern trend for abandoning the dining room in favour of larger dining areas in the kitchen where the large kitchen dining tables used in France (French Farm house tables) fit the requirement so perfectly. Types of wood used in French farm house tables varies between the general description of fruitwood to cherry, walnut, pine and even rosewood.

Complimentary to such large refectory tables are French breakfast tables, console tables and other French tables such as French marble top tables, round tables, sofa tables, antique console tables and even French dressing tables.

Another very popular item is the French Armoire. These are large antique wardrobes or cabinets, originally used for storing weapons but are now used as bedroom antique wardrobes and cupboards. Often these French Armoires are made from walnut and feature pleasing carvings.

Another interesting item under the French Antique banner is the commode. Originally, in French furniture, a commode introduced about 1700 meant a low cabinet, or chest of drawers at the height of the dado rail. A commode, gilt-bronze mounts, was a piece of case furniture much wider than it was high, raised on high or low legs, with or without enclosing drawers. This piece of furniture would be accompanied by a marble slab top selected to match the marble of the chimneypiece. A commode occupied a prominent position in the room for which it was intended: it stood against the pier between the windows in which case it would often be surmounted by a mirror glass. A pair of identical commodes would flank the chimneypiece or occupy the centre of each end wall. Before the mid-eighteenth century the commode had become such a necessary commodity that it might be made in menuiserie, of solid painted oak, or walnut or fruitwoods, with carved decoration, typical of French provincial furniture.

In the English-speaking world, commode passed into London cabinet-makers’ parlance by the mid-eighteenth century, to describe chests of drawers with gracefully curved fronts, and sometimes with shaped sides as well, perceived as being in the “French” taste. Thomas Chippendale employed the term “French Commode Tables,” to describe designs in The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Director (1753).

(Interestingly, the term “commode” is also a rurally used colloquial synonym for a toilet in the United States. This word was commonly heard in the 20th century but seems to be falling out of favour and has become uncommon to rare)

Other French antiques offered include chairs such as armchairs & French Fauteuil, French leather chairs, comfortable Louis XVI chairs and sofas. Their French antiques also include a variety of French cabinets and bookcases together with beautiful antique French mirrors and stunning antique lamps.

Brownrigg Interiors Antiques offers a comprehensive antiques search service. Contact them if you would like to search for a French Antique that you cannot find on their web site.

If you see an item you like on the web site please check it is at the correct showroom before visiting one of their three antiques showrooms. It is also possible to purchase online and they will ship anywhere in the world!

Check our web site for opening hours (Usually they are Monday to Saturday from 10.30 am – 5.30 pm).

Please contact Jorge Perez at the following email brownrigg@mac.com

For more details visit us at: http://www.brownrigg-interiors.co.uk/

2012 Edition of Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies Just Released

September 6th, 2012 by

(Chicago, IL) The 2012 edition of Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies contains nineteen in depth original research articles and topical discussions relating to personal property appraisal. While the Journal is targeted primarily at professional property appraisers, it also contains useful insights and information for anyone associated with the business of personal property such as auction houses, estate lawyers, insurance brokerage houses, museums and cultural property conservators.

According to Michael Conner Ph. D, ISA–AM, the mission of the Foundation is to “promote the advancement of education related to personal property appraising.” The Foundation was formed in 2002 as an independent arm of the International Society of Appraisers. The Foundation raises funds to provide scholarships for continuing studies for both new and veteran appraisers by publishing the Journal

Editor Todd W. Sigety, ISA CAPP comments, “The Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies is now in its 5th year of publication.  From what started as a simple concept of creating a platform for personal property appraisers and allied professionals to publish scholarly works, reviews, primers, theories and experiences has now grown and matured into the publication of choice for our profession. The Journal has developed into an important tool to assist new and emerging appraiser as well as becoming an incubator for developing new concepts and ideas for experienced appraisers.”

Sigety continues, “The 2012 edition of the Journal contains a wealth of appraisal related content on varied topics such as the 2011 art market, photography skills, report writing, Hedonic appraisal approach, marketing through TV, radio and public appearances, the Asian market, Asian textiles, appraising Judaica, book appraising, wood identification, inspection tools, multi-part antiques, artist archives, fair value, women in 20th century design, fraud on eBay, appraising books, and artist identification. All articles are specifically written and selected for the personal property appraiser.   Appraisers from the three major personal property organizations, ISA, ASA and AAA as well as independent appraisers, allied professionals, and educators have been active supporters and contributors to the journal project.”

The 300 page 2012 edition of the Journal, edited by Todd Sigety, is available for $55 at http://www.appraisaljournal.org/contents.html. Previous editions are available for $35 on the same site. For more information visit the Journal’s websites at http://www.appraisaljournal.org  and http://www.foundationforappraisaleducation.org/journal.html to read an excerpt article and visit the home page of the Foundation at  http://www.foundationforappraisaleducation.org/index.html

You can contact the Foundation for Appraisal Education at 201 W Lake St # 214 Chicago IL, 60606, telephone 312 924-1832, email info@foundationforappraisaleducation.org.

International Society of Appraisers Announces Fall 2012 Education Schedule

September 5th, 2012 by

[Admin Note: We receive many inquires here at antiques.com to help our users appraise their antiques. It is almost impossible (and irresponsible) to try and appraise anything via email online. Detecting the objects subtleties, imperfections, weight, smell, texture, you name it requires in person inspection. Therefore for those interested, we have the below offering from the International Society of Appraisers so you can learn the craft for yourself.]

Eight courses are scheduled for October and November including Appraisal of Fine Arts, Core Course in Appraisal Studies, Requalification Course, Advanced Report Writing, Oriental Rugs, Appraisal of Antiques & Residential Contents and the 7 hour and 15 hour Personal Property USPAP Course.

APPRAISAL OF FINE ART – October 15-20, 2012

Emphasizes the primary categories of fine art frequently encountered by appraisers and dealers: paintings, sculpture, works on paper, frames, photography, animation art, Russian icons and Spanish Colonial art. Major areas of focus: art history, looking at art works properly, identifying and researching fine art works, properly describing art works, correctly employing specific vocabulary, and art conservation. A field trip to local museums, such as The Art Institute of Chicago, provides students with close exposure to the property categories being studied.   (Covered by course fee)

CORE COURSE IN APPRAISAL STUDIES – October 8-14, 2012

This is the “original” complete appraisal methodology course for personal property appraising.  Its thorough scope includes appraisal objectives, intended uses, market identification and analysis, research methods and skills, ethics and professional conduct, and a detailed presentation of report formats and checklists.  This course sets the standards that others imitate.  The encyclopedic manual is in two sections and includes a resource directory of over 200 pages, including computer research sites, useful forms for your appraisal practice, and abridged law cases worthy of mention.  The on-site class is presented in a user friendly manner with many group activities that reinforce written and visual information.  Students learn the techniques of networking and are able to apply their new skills and knowledge in writing complete appraisal reports that are both ISA and USPAP compliant.  Minimal computer skills are required and laptop use in the classroom is encouraged.

REQUALIFICATION COURSE-September28-29(Toronto,Ontario)and October 26-27, 2012

A review and update of ISA’s Appraisal Standards covering significant recent changes including those in the ISA Core Course Manual,  the IRS, and the insurance industry.  The class is a requirement for re-qualification and provides current guidelines, checklists, and forms helpful for every member.   This will ensure that you are developing and writing appraisals to the current standards.    Our text is the current edition of the ISA Core Course Manual and much class time is spent in discussion and group activities.  No exam is given and students are dismissed at the end of the second day.

ADVANCED REPORT WRITING – October 24-25, 2012

This two day class is for all appraisers who are seeking to enhance and advance their report writing skills.  Attention is given to forming persuasive arguments in writing defendable reports.  We also cover complex, multiple value, and broad evidence appraisals and the choices we have in formatting and presentation.  Time will be spent on appraisal software and technology in presenting great looking reports.  Another section will explore appraisal reviews and how to write them.  This will include peer review of two appraisal reports that each student will bring. You will be encouraged and challenged.  The class will give you many ideas and tips that will benefit you no matter how long you’ve been in the profession.  Bring laptop computer.

ORIENTIAL RUGS COURSE – November 9-10, 2012 (Dallas, TX)

Whether they are hand-made or machine-made, appraising rugs is one of the most daunting appraisal specialties.  Winston Churchill’s description of the former Soviet Union, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” also describes the world of oriental and area rugs.  This course focuses on terminology, components of identification, rug photography, commonly encountered rugs, factors affecting value, comps, and serves as a springboard to self-study.

The class will be held in “The Casbah”, a classroom in a 100 year old oriental rug cleaning plant in Dallas, Texas.  The instructor, Ellen Amirkhan, ISA CAPP, is the president of Oriental Rug Cleaning Co. in Dallas, Texas, a business started by her grandfather in 1911 that specializes in cleaning, repairing, appraising and selling oriental rugs.  An industry instructor for 20 years, she teaches rug schools in the U.S., the UK and Australia and is a co-author of A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning.

APPRAISAL OF ANTIQUES & RESIDENTIAL CONTENTS – October 1-6, 2012

This newly revised course provides information necessary to properly identify and value items falling into the broad category of antiques and residential contents. Focus is on analysis of construction and manufacturing; discerning the difference between “good”, “better”, and “best” quality, design characteristics pertinent to general periods and styles; and research resources for the appraiser. Course sections include furniture, ceramics, glass, silver, toys and dolls, and vintage fashions as well as general household contents. The course includes an off-site field trip covered by the course expense.

15-HOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY USPAP COURSE – October 22-23, 2012

The 15-hour Personal Property Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) material is designed to aid appraisers in all areas of appraisal practice seeking competency in the USPAP. This course is intended to fulfill the USPAP requirement for credentialed membership levels within professional personal property appraisal organizations and will be taught by an active Personal Property Appraiser.

This course focuses on the requirements for ethical behavior and competent performance by appraisers that are set forth in the USPAP. The course material emphasizes the role of the appraiser and the impartiality associated with this role. In addition to lectures, the course includes discussion examples that show how USPAP applies to situations that personal property appraisers encounter in everyday practice.

7 HOUR Personal Property USPAP COURSE – November 8, 2012 (Dallas, TX)

This is the required 7 hour update for personal property appraisers seeking to fulfill the 2 year requalification process.  This class covers the 2012-2013 version of USPAP.  The class does not include an exam.  Students must have previously attended the 15 hour National USPAP class.

LOCATION INFORMATION

ALL COURSES WILL BE HELD IN NAPERVILLE, IL, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. COURSE MATERIALS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE AND BROUGHT TO CLASS.   For hotel and transportation information, go to:  www.isa-appraisers.org website.

Selling Your Antiques Online -By Reyne Haines

August 3rd, 2012 by

At some point in time collectors are faced with the need to deaccession, or pair down their collections.   They often tire of their earlier purchases, deciding to upgrade to more rare, or one of a kind pieces. Sometimes they shift gears altogether, collecting a completely different artist, or era.

Selling your antiques online has both risks and rewards.  It offers you great opportunities to get in front of large audiences and obtain a good bang for the marketing buck.  After all, what could be better than getting to enjoy something for a while, then sharing it with some else by selling it for a profit?  For the addicted, this generally affords you the opportunity to purchase another great item, perhaps even more rare and expensive, which starts the process all over again!

As always, marketing your items is very important.  For this, you’ll need really good pictures!  Since the buyer is unable to hold the item in hand, you’ll also need to provide thorough descriptions.  Be open to answering questions from inquisitive buyers.  Price your items based on your research and current market conditions.  Keeping a list of which client bought what type of item can prove handy in the future when selling similar things.

There are many venues you can use to sell your collectables.  So which ones are best?  That depends on what it is you have to sell.  There are sites like eBay and Craigslist which work well for certain items,  but would they really offer the serious collectors for your Tiffany glass collection?

Other venues exist to help your efforts.  Google “selling antiques online” and you will find over a million results for auctions, online antique malls, and collectors clubs that might help you get in front of the right kind of buyers which should bring you more opportunity.

When working with online auctions or an online mall, it is important to know a few things.  First, do they deal in items like the ones you have?  Second, you should find out what kind of agreements they have between buyers and sellers.  Ask how they settle the purchase and what fees could be charged to you.  Finally, what kind of protection do they offer for both the buyer and the seller?

Remember, do not ship your item until payment has been received.  If you accept credit cards, be cautious when accepting credit cards from certain countries. You may not want to sell your entire collection to the Nigerian prince offering to pay you with his credit card.  PayPal is often the safe method for accepting credit cards if you do not already have merchant status in place.

Whether you use a popular online auction or mall, or create a web site yourself, you should be knowledgeable and exercise a sound strategy when offering your antiques.  In today’s world it isn’t just “caveat emptor” but also “vendo cum cautela” (sell with caution) as well.

How to Identify Fake Antiques

August 2nd, 2012 by

As antiques aficionados, most of us appreciate authenticity and are drawn to items that have provenance or –at the very least– are as old as they are purported to be by the person trying to sell them. But now and then an item may be sold under a false pretext, and it can save us money and heartbreak if we recognize this before bringing it home.

 

“Fake” versus “Not Very Old”

 

There are two ways one may be led into buying an antique with a lower value than advertised. One is the circulation of an actual “fake”, a counterfeit “Tiffany” lamp, “Chippendale” chair, or “1923 Rolex” watch, for example. These kinds of fakes (except for the watch– more on that later) are actually very difficult to create and pass off as the real deal. It takes an intense degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail to pull off a scheme like this, especially when it comes to wooden furniture, so you don’t see these kinds of things very often. All the same, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Some deals are too good to be true. If the price of an item seems way too low, feel free to buy it, but don’t count on being able to resell it as an authentic piece.
  • If you’re trusting a label or watermark to tell the truth, it’s best to have some experience with that particular maker so you know exactly what the correct version looks like. Joining collectors clubs or similar social groups can expose you to experts and help build your knowledge and confidence.
  • Sometimes pottery and ceramics have minor defects and are sold as “factory seconds.” In this case, the maker will often strike out the signature. If you believe you’re looking at a factory second, buy at your own risk. The manufacturer has disowned the item, and you can’t prove the authenticity of the piece when you sell it, but you may still find pleasure in owning it.

“Not Very Old”

Some misleading items are simply recently-made pieces that are passed off as old. An item sold as a colonial table or an 18th century German cuckoo clock may have been made in a factory last week. Here are a few ways to tell.

  • Over time, wood changes shape along the grain. The length stays the same, but the width varies. If a round table is still perfectly round, it may not be very old. Square shelves that fit imperfectly in cabinetry, gaps, slight buckling, and a general misshape are all good signs.
  • Check the woodworm holes and the joining pegs. Tiny cracks should not radiate from the wormholes, and the joining pegs should stand out slightly from the surrounding wood as it shrinks back with time.
  • Dovetail joints should be a bit rough. Uniform cuts suggest a 20th century factory.  Rougher, uneven cuts suggest handwork.
  • Check patterns of grime and wear. The piece should show more distress in the places where it’s been touched most over the years, like on the arms of chairs and the handles of things. Uniform wear is a bad sign.
  • Read the description carefully. Items sold as “in the style of” or “inspired by” are not claiming to be antique. These are perfectly legal and legitimate imitations of antique items.

A Few Additional Tips

Remember that “authentic” can be a purely philosophical distinction. Antique items have been popular for thousands of years. “Fake” antique tables were bought and sold during biblical times. If you come across one of these, I’d hold onto it.

By the same token, if a wooden table is made from the boards of an old barn, is it old? As the buyer, you are allowed to decide. But it’s harder to dictate these terms when you become the seller.

When an item becomes appealing to speculators, fakes abound. Show caution when buying something at the peak of popularity.

Use your nose. Real silver has a very distinctive smell. So does old wood in the enclosed space of a drawer or cabinet.

Repair and patchwork are also subjective matters, but they diminish official resale value. Be especially cautious of patchwork when it comes to items with many small parts, like watches and clocks. One modern replacement spring mechanism may render a watch inauthentic, and may be very difficult for non-experts to detect.

By Erin Sweeney

for Antiques.com

Sotheby’s New York – Lichtenstein’s ‘Sleeping Girl’ Sets New Artist Record | Contemporary Art Evening Auction

May 11th, 2012 by

NEW YORK, 9 May 2012 - Tonight at Sotheby’s, the Contemporary Art Evening Sale brought a strong total of $266,591,000, well within the $216/304 million pre-sale estimate and with 81% of lots sold.

Tobias Meyer, this evening’s auctioneer and Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, said: ‘‘We are thrilled with tonight’s total of $266 million, and especially with the results achieved for our top four lots, which set a record for Roy Lichtenstein, for a single panel by Francis Bacon, one of the strongest prices for Andy Warhol in some time, and a record for Cy Twombly. The top end of the market performed beautifully this evening due to a global demand for masterpieces that is almost unparalleled, and we saw a remarkable depth of bidding between $30-40 million.’’

RSL’s July 1 Antique Toys, Train Stations, Banks & Americana auction led by revered Jirofsky, Laster collections

May 11th, 2012 by

Circa-1905 Marklin ‘Café’ train station with many papier-mache figures, ex Ward Kimball collection. Est. $18,000-$25,000. RSL Auction Co.

TIMONIUM, Md. – Fine European antique toys and train stations, plus a fabulous array of still and mechanical banks are at the heart of RSL’s 621-lot auction to be held July 1, 2012 at Richard Opfer’s gallery in Timonium (suburban Baltimore), Maryland. Titled “Toys, Train Stations, Banks & Americana,” the auction’s wonderfully varied selections include the John Jirofsky architectural still bank collection, the late Dr. James Laster’s collection of train stations, and other carefully chosen additional consignments.

 

A longtime collector, Jirofsky is a member of both the MBCA and SBCCA, a reflection of his penchant for both mechanical and still banks. “We sold John’s mechanical banks in June of last year; now we have his still banks, which were his true collecting passion,” said RSL partner Ray Haradin. “There’s great diversity in his collection, especially among the painted buildings. It contains the only known example of the ‘1905 Bank.’” Having an almost mosque-like appearance with its tall spires, the 1905 Bank could cash out at $12,000-$18,000.

 

Gebruder Bing 1 gauge train station with patio, circa 1910. Est. $4,000-$6,000. RSL Auction Co.

Another highlight is a red Palace Bank with exceptionally fine detailing and a smooth, lustrous patina. It is expected to make $10,000-$15,000.

 

From a different consignor comes a rare and exceptional 1890s polychrome-painted Ives Santa bank, complete with a removable wire Christmas tree accessory. The bank’s gilt-edged trail of provenance includes the distinguished Leon Perelman and Donal Markey collections. The presale estimate is $8,000-$12,000.

 

Marklin three-tiered castle, circa 1895, parade ground moves when connected to steam engine. Est. $14,000-$20,000. RSL Auction Co.

RSL is honored to have been chosen to handle the European train station collection of the late Dr. James Laster, whose specialty was German 1 gauge. Fifteen train stations from the Laster collection will be lined up to meet their new owners on auction day, including a large, circa-1905 Marklin Café station (1 Gauge) ex Ward Kimball collection. It could bring $18,000-$25,000, Haradin said.

 

A circa-1910 Bing station with patio, in excellent condition, is entered with hopes of realizing $4,000-$6,000. There will also be a host of other, smaller Bing, Marklin and J. Krauss stations from the early 1900s.

 

The magical Marklin name will also be represented by a circa-1895 three-tiered castle. “It’s a pristine example from the Lutz /Marklin era and should sell for $14,000-$20,000,” Haradin said. Other Marklin prizes include a horse-drawn stagecoach with driver, est. $6,500-$9,500; and a large Marklin Jolanda riverboat, est. $12,000-$18,000.

 

Circa-1895 Hubley Toy Co. Gondola Amusement Park Ride, clockwork cast iron, brass and wood. Est. $30,000-$40,000. RSL Auction Co.

A first-rate assortment of American tin toys is highlighted by a circa-1885 Ives “Giant” locomotive. Measuring an impressive 17½ inches long, the Giant was the largest locomotive of the American clockwork-toy era. One of only four known, the entry in RSL’s sale is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.

 

Two other clockwork treasures to be sold are a circa-1875 Ives Stump Speaker in pristine condition, est. $5,000-$7,000; and one of only about 6 extant examples of an Ives Nursemaid, also known as “Old Aunt Chloe.” The toy is meant to depict a black nanny caring for a white infant. Estimate: $7,000-$9,000.

 

German painted papier-mache and cardboard ‘Black Dandy’ ball toss, circa 1895. Est. $5,000-$7,000. RSL Auction Co.

Cast-iron American toys exhibiting particularly fine condition include a “super-mint” circa-1905 Uncle Sam Chariot, made by Kenton Hardware and retaining an unbelievable 99.5% of its original paint. The 12-inch-long patriotic toy, whose chariot replicates an American eagle, is expected to achieve $15,000-$25,000 at auction. Right alongside it is one of the rarest of all Hubley toys, a Gondola Amusement Park Ride, with intricately cast ironwork on its wheels. The 19-inch-long toy, whose condition is rated “excellent,” is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

 

A featured section of the sale is devoted to antique European character and automotive toys by such makers as Lehmann, Nifty, Schuco and the coveted French brand Fernand Martin, whose “Orange Vendor” and “Gendarme,” est. $3,000-$4,000, are rarely seen. European automotive toys will follow their category’s leader, a deluxe model Fisher Taxi with rare leather canopy and two female passengers, est. $3,500-$5,500.

 

J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1886. Est. $26,000-$32,000. RSL Auction Co.

A grouping of 18 character toys and other items with a black theme will be led by a circa-1895 papier-mache and cardboard Dandy Ball Toss. German made and displaying bright, appealing colors, the toy is designed so the “dandy” nods his head when a ball is successfully tossed into an opening in his midsection. Est. $5,000-$7,000.

 

It wouldn’t be an RSL auction without high-end cast-iron mechanical banks. The July 1 sale includes around 175 mechanicals, many in near-mint condition. Among the top lots is a circa-1886 J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners bank designed by Charles Bailey. With pristine paint, it has the potential to realize $26,000-$32,000.

 

J. & E. Stevens Calamity cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1905. Est. $35,000-$55,000. RSL Auction Co.

Other coveted classics include a superior circa-1905 J. & E. Stevens Calamity bank, est. $35,000-$55,000; and a near-mint circa-1888 Kyser & Rex Butting Buffalo, $20,000-$30,000.

 

The perfect “go with” for a mechanical bank is an illustrated trade card. RSL’s sale will include approximately 10 trade cards advertising mechanical banks, including a relatively rare “Bad Accident.” Some of the cards are ex Bob Brady collection.

 

All forms of bidding will be available in RSL’s Sunday, July 1 auction, including Internet live bidding through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with a preview from Tuesday, May 26 commencing at 12 noon through Sunday morning prior to the auction. A complimentary cocktail party preview will be held at the gallery on Thursday, May 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

 

For additional information, call Ray Haradin at 412-343-8733, Leon Weiss at 917-991-7352, or Steven Weiss at 212-729-0011. E-mail raytoys@aol.com or geminitoys@earthlink.net. Visit RSL Auction Co. online at www.rslauctions.com.

Bertoia’s March 23-24 ‘Made to Be Played’ toy auction finishes at $1.3M

May 8th, 2012 by

Hubley Popeye Patrol cast-iron motorcycle toy, $19,550. Bertoia Auctions image.

VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia’s March 23-24 ‘Made to Be Played’ auction, a 1,400-lot offering highlighted by the Grover Van Dexter European tin toy collection, closed the books at an impressive $1.3 million (inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium). An extensive variety of early toys crossed the auction block. A Hubley cast-iron Popeye Patrol depicting the popular cartoon sailor on a motorcycle had been estimated at $10,000-$12,000 and rode off as top lot after hammering $19,550.

 

“It was a well-attended event, and the phones and Internet were very busy,” said Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia. “We’ve noticed that with each successive sale there are more and more serious bidders using alternative bidding methods. We’re reached a point with the electronic crowd where they’re 100% trusting of the catalog descriptions. A bidder will call ahead of time and ask, ‘Is this toy really excellent?’ Then after the sale they’ll call me and say it was actually better than described.”

 

Marklin rolling steam engine with foldable stack, double flywheel, other desirable details, $8,050. Bertoia Auctions image.

The aforementioned Popeye on Motorcycle had an association with Bertoia’s that went way back, Rich Bertoia said. “My brother Bill bought that toy years ago after visiting the Hubley showroom in New York. It was a big deal for a small company like Hubley (of Lancaster, Pa.) to make it to the big trade show. Bill resold the toy, which was in unplayed-with condition, to collector Bob Brady. In turn, Bob sold it at auction a few years ago. The person who bought it at that particular auction, consigned it to our March 23-24 sale.”

 

Before the auction, Rich Bertoia was asked how he thought the toy would fare. “I said that cast iron has made a comeback, that there are a few more collectors in the mix now, and that you won’t find another one in that condition,” Bertoia said. “It ended up nearly doubling its low estimate at $19,550.”

 

Steam toys from the collection of the late Klaus Grutzka, who taught art at the prestigious Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., put in a strong performance. A fine Marklin rolling steam engine with foldable stack, double flywheel and other nice details topped the steam-toy group at $8,050.

 

Lehmann ‘Coco’ weighted-string pull toy, German, with original box, $8,625. Bertoia Auctions image.

There was interest from both sides of the Atlantic in European tin toys from the personal collection of Grover Van Dexter, who owned a legendary Greenwich village toy shop called Second Childhood. Van Dexter’s shop – like his personal collection – was laden with rare Lehmanns and Martins.

 

Van Dexter’s Lehmann Coco, a weighted-string pull toy that depicts an African native climbing a palm tree to retrieve a coconut, not only retained its paper tree leaves but also its rare pictorial box. Estimated at $1,500-$1,800, it was bid to $8,625.

 

A French Fernand Martin wind-up toy depicting an English soldier was made of tin and outfitted in a cloth uniform with metal helmet and gun. An unquestionably rare toy, it soared to $6,325 against an estimate of $1,000-$1,200.

 

Deep Sea Diver lithographed tinplate wind-up toy, German, $5,750. Bertoia Auctions image.

Collectors love oddities, Bertoia said, and that described the German-made tinplate Deep Sea Diver of unknown manufacture. Examples of this nicely detailed tin-litho character in a primitive diving suit and domed helmet seldom appear at auction. Against an estimate of $1,200-$1,500, it claimed a winning bid of $5,750.

 

Depicting a character from the early newspaper comic strip “Toonerville Folks,” a Powerful Katrinka wind-up toy by Nifty swept past its $900-$1,100 estimate to realize $2,588.

 

“This is the type of toy that keeps comic character buyers interested. There were fewer Powerful Katrinkas made than other comic character toys. When one of them comes out of the woodwork, it gives the market a bump,” Bertoia said. “The Toonerville toys had more of a regional than national distribution. The comic strip had a rural theme, so the toys were only sent to certain pockets of the country. As a result, the toys are rare.”

 

Hand-painted spelter Santa Claus still bank, German, $8,625. Bertoia Auctions image.

A selection of antique still and mechanical banks – many in superior condition – was led by a hand-painted spelter bank depicting Santa Claus with a staff in one hand and a bag slung over his shoulder. Prices for spelter banks have continued to escalate, as the Santa bank proved when it sold for $8,625 against an estimate of $1,000-$1,500.

 

Perhaps the most unusual entry in the auction was a cast-iron figural hand, painted red and weighing more than 100 lbs. The 32-inch-tall trade sign was originally a display piece in a York, Pa., glove factory. Bertoia said he had seen only one other like it, in an Architectural Digest spread of several years ago. Bertoia’s sold the example in their sale for $6,325 – more than six times its high estimate.

 

Hubley Parlour Maid figural cast-iron doorstop, designed by Anne Fish, $5,463. Bertoia Auctions image.

Bertoia’s is known for its record prices on figural cast-iron doorstops, a collecting category in which Bertoia’s owner, Jeanne Bertoia, is an acknowledged expert.

 

“In this sale we included the complete range of Hubley Art Deco doorstops designed by Anne Fish, a popular English cartoonist and illustrator in the 1920s,” said Jeanne Bertoia. “Each was in beautiful condition. The Parlour Maid, which depicts a French maid serving cocktails, was in even better condition than the book example.” Estimated at $1,800-$2,500, the Parlour Maid achieved a top bid of $5,463.

 

Bertoia’s will present its annual Fall Sale on Sept. 21-22. On Nov. 10, the company will auction part II of the Dick Claus collection of nautical toys and boats. To contact Bertoia Auctions, call 856-692-1881 or e-mail toys@bertoiaauctions.com. Visit Bertoia’s online at www.bertoiaauctions.com.

Rago Arts and Auction Center – Fine Art Auctions

May 4th, 2012 by

19th/20th C. American & European Art, 10 a.m.
The Reingold Collection (following 19th/20th C. Art)
Post-War & Contemporary Art, 2:30 p.m.